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Boot manager problem with triple boot XP/Vista/Win7

Posted on 2009-07-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
On my system I could dual boot with EasyBCD into XP Pro and Vista Ultimate.
Now I wanted to add Windows 7 RC64bit  to my system. I booted into XP, installed Partition Magic 8, made room on the far right end of my hard disk, made that partition bootable and set it to active(so fist 2 partitions are XP and Vista, then 2 partitions contain data and last partition is for Win7).
I was able to install Win7 with no problem.
Question: I want the boot manager to show XP, Vista and Win7. How? I need to able to delete Win7 (because I use RC version)
Problem: after installing win7 I didn't get the boot manager. Bcdedit shows only Win7. If I set the Vista partition to active I get the error: "windows failed to start" and "repair your computer" and "File: \BOOT\BCD
Status: 0xc000000F
Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data"
When I set the XP partition to active I get my old boot manager with XP and Vista. I can boot into XP without a problem. If I boot into Vista I get the error: autochk program not found and then a BSoD with: Stop C000021a and 0xc000003a
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Question by:LDantuma
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by:LDantuma
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I am one step further. I made the Vista partition active and booted from the Vista setup disk. Then I chose Repair your computer. Now I have a boot manager with Vista and Win7.
1. How can I add XP to this
2. How can I see XP and Win7 to the explorer? Disk Management in Vista doesn't allow me to assign drive letters to these partitions.
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by:LDantuma
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I know what I did wrong: I shouldn't have made the Win7 partition active.
Now I set the Vista partition to active (where EasyBCD is installed). I deleted the Win7 partition and reinstalled win7. I can now boot into Vista and Win7.
The only problem remaining is that if I choose XP from the boot loader, XP starts up, but then I get an boot.ini error,followed by a BSoD
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
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What is the contents of your boot.ini file?  It may be referencing the wrong partition.  Here is a good article about the boot.ini file:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;289022
HOW TO: Edit the Boot.ini File in Windows XP

Another useful article on Boot.ini:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314081
The Purpose of the Boot.ini File in Windows XP
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Author Comment

by:LDantuma
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I do not know what the content is. I can't reach XP, nor from Vista, neither from Win7.
Is there a way to look at it while booting XP (before it gives me a BSoD)?
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LeeTutor earned 500 total points
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Try booting to the Recovery Environment of Vista using your installation DVD, then using the Command Prompt section to transfer control to the XP partition (perhaps with a DOS command like C: or D: or whatever you think the drive letter of the XP partition is), then make sure you are in the root directory by typing this

CD \

Next type ATTRIB -h -s boot.ini   in order to turn off the hidden and system attributes.

Then type the command

TYPE BOOT.INI > BOOTINI.TXT

That will create a text file called bootini.txt which contains the contents of the boot.ini file.  You can then use the COPY command to copy it to either your Vista or your Win7 partition.  Or if you have a USB flash drive, you could copy it to that.
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Author Closing Comment

by:LDantuma
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I waited a long time to try this, because I really couldn't loose my Vista partition. Now I had the time and it worked. Thanks!
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